Linked by Thom Holwerda on Mon 26th Jan 2009 11:56 UTC
Internet & Networking Earlier this month, news got out that the European Commission is charging Microsoft with unlawful competition regarding its bundling of the Internet Explorer web bowser with Windows. At the time, information was scarce, but thanks to Microsoft's quarterly filing at the Securities and Exchange Commission. we now have a little more insight into what the EU might force Microsoft to do.
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RE: Better measures
by elsewhere on Tue 27th Jan 2009 05:00 UTC in reply to "Better measures"
elsewhere
Member since:
2005-07-13

In my opinion EU should force Microsoft and hardware companies to:

- make public the windows OEM prices for the consumers and all computer makers and integrators, even if MS set prices varying with the units sold.


Why? What would it accomplish? Should the OEM contract pricing for intel processors, nvidia chipsets, Seagate hard drives, and every other manufacturer component possible, be made public as well?

Let's take it a step farther, and have the government regulate the price that OEMs should charge for systems, and see how well that works for the economy. Maybe they should control the software that users can use, as well.

There is certainly much to criticize about Microsoft's business practices, but targeting them for unreasonable government intervention simply opens the door for further unreasonable government intervention right across the board. No matter how much you dislike Microsoft, this isn't a road that you, as a consumer, wants to go down.

- refund any windows OEM sold with computers if the client desn't want to pay it using in a simple procedure. You as consumer should not be obliged to pay for a computer "accessory" if you not want. For me the story that a computer cannot be sold without an operating system is a bullshit. Put a FreeDOS installation or give for free a linux livecd if it was true.


You can't demand a refund from Ford because they bundled an engine with your car when you'd prefer to install your own.

There is an argument to be made about Microsoft enforcing acceptance of an EULA, but that is completely separate from what you're discussing.

If a vendor won't sell a system without Windows pre-installed, then find another vendor. They are out there. It just means you, as the consumer, need to make a little more effort in your purchasing and be prepared to sacrifice some of the benefits that the "Windows" hardware manufacturers offer.

This isn't a Microsoft issue. It's a vendor issue. Again, this isn't something the gov't should be interfering in.

Forcing you to accept an EULA is different, and if MS wants to hide behind these then they need to accept the consequences that certain jurisdictions hold with regards to refunding etc., but it shouldn't be an enforced requirement on manufacturers.


- include at least 2 IE competitors included in every computer with windows OEM sold and installed.


Who decides which 2 competitors are included? What if HP chooses Safari and Firefox, will Opera then turn around an claim unfair business practice?

And who at HP, or any other manufacturer, is going to deal with the potential for increased customer support, from bundling additional software?

Remember that the reason people pay for name-brand software is the (sometimes unreasonable) expectation that the manufacturer will stand behind the system. Is Mozilla, Apple or Opera willing to invest in additional resources to help support customers that are "paying" for a browser since it is included with the system they purchased?

Of course, hardware manufacturers already bundle software, but those vendors generally pay a fee. Forcing hardware manufacturers to install software by mandate will simply result in incurred costs that will be happily passed on to consumers.

- remove thw windows update dependency of IE. MS should make independent applications to do it.


They already have.

- MS should be forced to make free viewers for every proprietary file format created by the company and for at least 3 or 4 of the main non-MS operating systems, like MacOSX, linux. etc.


Why? I understand the point you're trying to make, but you're not even addressing the core problem, simply encouraging wider spread adoption of proprietary standards.

If the gov't is going to intervene in this area, then they should ditch proprietary standards and utilize open ones. And refuse to utilize software that doesn't comply. That will do far more to impact Microsoft's behavior than any nuisance-type remedies will.

Reply Parent Score: 3

RE[2]: Better measures
by lemur2 on Tue 27th Jan 2009 05:27 in reply to "RE: Better measures"
lemur2 Member since:
2007-02-17

Why? What would it accomplish? Should the OEM contract pricing for intel processors, nvidia chipsets, Seagate hard drives, and every other manufacturer component possible, be made public as well?


There is a reasonable suspicion in the netbook market that Microsoft is subsidising OEMs for the installation of XP in order to drive out Linux from the market. (I would be interested to hear of any netbook where one can get the exact same model hardware-wise with either Linux or XP installed as an option, and what the price difference is).

If true, that would amount to dumping or price collusion (depending on what exactly was done). These are illegal anti-competitive practices in most countries, for any company, let alone a monopoly.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dumping_(pricing_policy)

Edited 2009-01-27 05:32 UTC

Reply Parent Score: 3

RE[3]: Better measures
by shiva on Tue 27th Jan 2009 13:43 in reply to "RE[2]: Better measures"
shiva Member since:
2007-01-24

Yes. I think Intel did the same illegal dumping against AMD in the past. It is inquestionable the near monopoly of Windows + Intel.

Public and non-discriminatory prices are legal and should be forced by the EU, EUA and all the other countries.

Reply Parent Score: 2

RE[2]: Better measures
by lemur2 on Tue 27th Jan 2009 06:04 in reply to "RE: Better measures"
lemur2 Member since:
2007-02-17

You can't demand a refund from Ford because they bundled an engine with your car when you'd prefer to install your own.


Perhaps you could demand a refund from Ford if the engine they bundled with your car is broken by design.

http://tech.slashdot.org/comments.pl?sid=1105033&threshold=0&commen...

This would be the rough equivalent of Ford engines not working with standard petrol (by design), and hence forcing all service stations to stock Ford gasoline as well as standard gasoline.

Of course, if you tried to put Ford gasoline in the tank of any other car ... it would break that cars engine.

Reply Parent Score: 2

RE[2]: Better measures
by Moulinneuf on Tue 27th Jan 2009 08:35 in reply to "RE: Better measures"
Moulinneuf Member since:
2005-07-06

Should the OEM contract pricing for intel processors, nvidia chipsets, Seagate hard drives, and every other manufacturer component possible, be made public as well?


Why not ?

Let's take it a step farther,


Your not , your making ridicule of your own argument.

but targeting them for unreasonable government intervention


They make themself the target , by breaking the law.

opens the door for further unreasonable government intervention right across the board.


You failed to proove , you know in court , that the demand where unreasonnable.

You can't demand a refund from Ford because they bundled an engine with your car when you'd prefer to install your own.


Actually you can.

1. The motor come with blueprints.
2. You can swap in any motor you want.
3. There is a big customization market and really big after market for it.

There is an argument to be made about Microsoft enforcing acceptance of an EULA


No , the argument as been made that they are all illegal , because most people don't have any clue what it say , that they did not enter into it with same bargainning power.

If a vendor won't sell a system without Windows pre-installed


Then they are doing something illegal ...

This isn't a Microsoft issue.


Actually all vendor have testified to being pressused and menaced by Microsoft under oath ...

Who decides which 2 competitors are included?


The end user.

And who at HP, or any other manufacturer, is going to deal with the potential for increased customer support, from bundling additional software?


The same people that already do for all their included software ...

Is Mozilla, Apple or Opera willing to ... with the system they purchased?


They already do the support.

Forcing hardware manufacturers to install software by mandate will simply result in incurred costs that will be happily passed on to consumers.


It's a punishment for Microsoft , that your falsely arguing is actually a hardware maker problem ...

If Microsoft can't follow the law and include what is demanded of them then the law will punish them and the hardware maker will drop them as not to be accomplice in Microsoft criminal activities.

They already have.


Forgive me if I don't respect or believe your words ...

but you're not even addressing the core problem, simply encouraging wider spread adoption of proprietary standards.


Proprietary standards are not illegal ... Yet ;-)

If the gov't is going to intervene in this area, then they should ditch proprietary standards and utilize open ones.


They already do require open source solution , the problem with Microsoft ( and Open Source in general ) is they support the standard but they modify and break the support of other of it by adding addition on top of it that they don't share with others. Everything that exist is based on Open Source standards.

Free Software is the only real viable solution.

And refuse to utilize software that doesn't comply. That will do far more to impact Microsoft's behavior than any nuisance-type remedies will.


They can do both , and that's what they are doing ...

The problem with your argmunet and why it's flaud is that Microsoft is not a respectfull corporation that follow all laws and respect the courts and market it's in or even the punishment it's suppose to follow.

They abuse there market privilege to kill competition in other markets.

Edited 2009-01-27 08:38 UTC

Reply Parent Score: 2

RE[2]: Better measures
by shiva on Tue 27th Jan 2009 13:51 in reply to "RE: Better measures"
shiva Member since:
2007-01-24

Only because in the USA it is a common pratice to sell bundles of products without choice, unbundling rights or refuse to refund some non desired part it does not mean that is completely fair or legal.

See the Michael Moore's Sicko film

http://www.michaelmoore.com/sicko/checkup/

to see how big companies drive the laws and politics to distort the free market, non-wild capitalism and consummer rights in america.

Reply Parent Score: 2